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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 26, 2007 at 2:02 PM

Netflix CEO joins Microsoft board

Microsoft today announced the appointment of Reed Hastings, founder, chairman and CEO of video rental service Netflix, to its board of directors. The board has had nine members since Ann McLaughlin Korologos stepped down in November.

In the same announcement, Microsoft declared a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share, payable on June 14 to shareholders of record on May 17.

“Reed’s track record for delivering innovative and disruptive technologies to market is very impressive,” Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said in a statement. “With his rich consumer and technology background, he will be a tremendous addition to our board.”

Hastings, 46, founded Netflix in 1997, the same year his previous venture, Pure Software, was acquired by Rational Software. Netflix finished 2006 with 6.3 million subscribers.

More on Hastings, who will serve on the board’s finance committee, from Microsoft’s press release:

An active community leader, Hastings has also been deeply involved in promoting education initiatives, and has served as president of the California State Board of Education.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University. Hastings also served in the United States Peace Corps.

Here’s his Netflix bio, which adds this personal tidbit: “Reed served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland.”

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